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Members' Stories

Practicing Buddhism yields tangible effects within an individual’s daily life.

One person’s experiences of overcoming problems or achieving their goals can serve as inspiration for another to positively challenge his or her own circumstances.

This selection of experiences illustrates the process of "human revolution" in action--how an individual's inner-motivated transformation sparks changes in their life and circumstances.

View Members' Stories on video »
Lulu McLennan, U.K.

“I want to make even more of a difference with my life from this moment onwards.”

Lulu McLennan, U.K.

  • Christine Voelker

    Christine Voelker describes how, through her Buddhist practice, she has transformed feelings of powerlessness and anger at environmental degradation into hope and now takes practical steps to lead a sustainable life. 

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  • Dan McKinney

    Cinematographer Dan McKinney describes how his Buddhist practice has enabled him to find within himself the qualities he needs to successfully connect to and portray the humanity of the people whose stories he is telling. 

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  • Pauline Mayers

    Through her Buddhist practice, dancer Pauline Mayers overcame the fear and insecurity that was holding her back and began to embrace each day of her life.

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  • Leslie Mancillas describes how, on her journey to become the mother her daughter needed her to be, she learned the true meaning of prayer.

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  • Ryan Hayashi

    Ryan Hayashi explains how, through his Buddhist practice, he transformed the struggles of his teenage years into the determination to encourage others with similar issues.

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  • Fern Brown describes how her Buddhist practice has helped her to come to terms with an unhappy childhood and become a stronger person and a campaigner for pedestrian rights.

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  • Nitin Upadhye

    Nitin Upadhye describes how, as a result of his Buddhist practice, he was motivated to use his skills as a filmmaker and photographer to improve the lives of girls displaced by conflict in Kashimir.

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  • Shin'ichi Endo suffered the tragic loss of his three children in the tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan on March 11, 2011. He describes how his faith has enabled him to find a way to grow stronger than his grief.

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  • Blandina Happiness Sembu

    As a single mother who had lost her right arm in an accident, Blandina Happiness Sembu faced severe challenges. She describes how her Buddhist practice has given her the confidence and courage to tackle all her problems as well as her work as a spokesperson for women with disabilities in Tanzania.

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  • Brandon Nicholson

    Brandon Nicholson describes how Buddhism helped him to overcome health challenges in his childhood, enabling him to pursue higher education and develop the spirit to work for the happiness of others and contribute to social justice.  

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  • Josh Joffee

    Josh Joffee talks about how practicing Buddhism inspired him to actively seek out new challenges and realize his dream of becoming a music teacher.  

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  • Ricky Ng

    Ricky Ng describes how, through his Buddhist practice, he was able to find the answers he was looking for and lead his family from resignation to hope.  

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  • Milton Lopes

    Thanks to his Buddhist practice, Milton Lopes found a way to create respectful relationships and performed in the 2012 London Paralympics Opening Ceremony.  

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  • Patti Heckman

    Patti Heckman describes how she was able to achieve a complete turnaround in her work situation through changing her own attitude from resentment to appreciation.

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  • Lesley Butler

    Lesley Butler describes how her practice of Buddhism has enabled her to give full play to her talents and abilities as a puppeteer, clown, storyteller and Punch and Judy "Professor," helping others express themselves through art.

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  • Akruti Choksi

    Akruti Choksi describes how she managed to create a unique role for herself by combining her passion for animals with her profession as a dentist. She became the first dentist trained in human dentistry to practice equine dentistry in India.

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  • Fredrik Hultman

    Fredrik Hultman from Sweden began practicing Buddhism in an effort to overcome anorexia. He soon developed the desire to share with others the joy he discovered through his practice and now plays a leading role in SGI-Sweden.

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  • Carmen Díaz Prensa

    Facing serious illness and partial sight loss, Carmen Díaz Prensa decided not to be defeated by her suffering and transform her situation into something positive. She returned to work and now has increased appreciation for life. 

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  • Meri Everitt

    Meri Everitt describes how her Buddhist practice enables her to hold onto determination and hope and make wise choices as she lives with a health condition that causes chronic pain and fatigue.

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  • Kyoko Muramatsu

    Kyoko Muramatsu, a survivor of the 1995 Kobe Earthquake in which she lost her entire family and her home, recalls her long struggle to cope with bereavement, and how she regained the courage to live through the help of her local Soka Gakkai community.

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  • Shin Won-suk

    Through engaging in Buddhist activities, Shin Won-suk from Korea began to search for a way to put his landscaping background to greater use, eventually becoming an ecological "restorer" of the polluted Taehwa River which runs through his city.

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  • Huntley Nicholas

    Huntley Nicholas talks about the shock of witnessing famine in Ethiopia soon after he began practicing Buddhism and his journey to promote food security in Japan. He is currently a founding trustee of Second Harvest Asia, a program promoting food banking in East Asia.

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  • Atsuma Ueda

    "The older I become, the more my horizons expand” says Atsuma Ueda, now 91 years old and living in Hiroshima, Japan. Mr. Ueda describes how when his company was about to go bankrupt, embracing Nichiren Buddhism helped him to hold onto appreciation and transform his struggles into fuel for success.

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  • Gwen Harris

    Through her 12-year struggle of caring for her father, grandmother and mother, who all passed away within 18 months of each other, Gwen Harris determined to create value from this experience through becoming a gerontologist. She now helps other families face the aging and dying process.

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  • Edmund Lam

    Edmund Lam explains how practicing Buddhism helped him to rise out of poverty and fundamentally transform his difficult and painful relationship with his mother that had troubled him since childhood.

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  • Aurélie Neame Koueli

    Aurélie Neame Koueli describes how her Buddhist practice helped her to become the protagonist of her own life and to pursue her passion for environmental protection.

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  • Fernanda Baumhardt

    After meeting Buddhism, Fernanda Baumhardt decided to go in search of her life purpose and switched from a high-level career in advertising to one focused on humanitarian and planetary needs.

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  • Kenichi Kurosawa

    Kenichi Kurosawa clung to a pine tree as the tsunami triggered by the March 11, 2011, earthquake swept through his hometown of Ishinomaki, Japan, reducing it to rubble. Inspired by SGI President Ikeda's encouragement to those affected by the disaster, Kenichi found his own unique way of imparting a message of hope.

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  • Erendro Leichombam Singh

    From complete despair, Erendro Leichombam Singh from India finds the courage and strength to achieve his dream of attending university. A recent Masters graduate of Harvard University, Erendro is now the founder of the nonprofit The Manipur International Centre.

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  • Ater Malath

    After surviving the horrors of civil war in South Sudan, Ater Malath encounters Nichiren Buddhism, and finds the power of faith and hope.

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  • In response to a letter from her son, Eiko Usubuchi recounts how her Buddhist practice has enabled her to engage in an all-out struggle to triumph over her physical limitations caused by a muscular disease, be a mother her son cherishes and follow her life-path as a professional counselor and trainer.

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  • Jennifer Isidore

    Jennifer Isidore from London describes how an encounter on her way home led her to draw on her Buddhist faith and take action to build bonds of trust and understanding with young people in her community.

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  • Danielle Richards

    Danielle Richards describes what she gained from her experience of working to strengthen interfaith connections in Liverpool, UK.

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  • Izumi Nakano, nursing care manager from Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, describes her challenges since March 11, 2011, and how her compassion for her patients has deepened.

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  • Shin'ichi Tanno

    Shin'ichi Tanno describes how his faith helped him rebuild his life and fishing business following devastating losses in the March 11, 2011, tsunami.

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  • Michele Di Mascio

    Through practicing Nichiren Buddhism, Michele Di Mascio was able to to come to terms with his homosexuality. Through efforts to support his HIV-infected partner, Michele entered upon a journey with leading world scientists to find a way to eradicate the HIV virus.

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  • Dohee Kim

    Dohee Kim from Korea found the courage to overcome her problems through her practice of Nichiren Buddhism. As well as finding her life path as a musician and instructor, she was able to deepen her relationship with her family.

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  • Greg Johns

    Greg Johns from Australia shares how he used his experience of depression to help others battling with problems

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  • Ngapaki Emery

    Ngapaki Emery shares her experience of coming to know a seemingly "foreign" practice of faith in relationship to her nationality as Māori.

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  • Larry Loyie

    How Larry Loyie has devoted himself to telling the truth about the residential schools which took Aboriginal children in Canada away from their families, and how Nichiren Buddhism has helped him.

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  • María García Zambrano

    Teaching large classes in high school, Maria Garcia Zambrano was inspired by the approach of Soka education and her Buddhist practice to treasure each student and believe in their potential.

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  • Junko Sato from Tohoku, Japan, describes awakening to her mission in response to the devastating earthquake and tsunami which hit her hometown in March 2011.

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  • Shikha Singh

      Shikha Singh from India describes how she and her husband were able to transform the family's financial situation and human relationships through their Buddhist practice.

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  • Durvalina Vitoriano da Silva

    Durvalina describes how she and her husband's lives were changed through studying with the Literacy Course for Adolescents and Adults run by SGI-Brazil, where she is now a tutor.

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  • Carina Taeko Chau

    Facing many challenges due to a rare brittle bone disease, Carina explains how her practice of Nichiren Buddhism has enabled her to create her own life as a make-up artist and teacher.

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